Attorney General William Barr, who is set to be replaced with Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen, recently spoke to Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel and appeared to contradict Donald Trump’s claim that his campaign was the focus of a CIA espionage effort before Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
As reported by Mediaite, Barr revealed he and Special Counsel John Durham did not find evidence that the CIA illegally spied on Trump’s campaign before the FBI investigation into its possible conspiracy with Russia — also known as Crossfire Hurricane.
“Mr. Barr was initially suspicious that agents had been spying on the Trump campaign before the official July 2016 start date of Crossfire Hurricane, and that the Central Intelligence Agency or foreign intelligence had played a role,” The Wall Street Journal piece read.
“But even prior to naming Mr. Durham special counsel, Mr. Barr had come to the conclusion that he didn’t ‘see any sign of improper CIA activity’ or ‘foreign government activity before July 2016,’ he says. ‘The CIA stayed in its lane.'”
As The Inquisitr reported, Barr previously testified in a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing where he claimed he believed Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was spied on.
Trump previously accused CIA Director John Brennan of illegally monitoring his campaign and engaging in a coordinated effort to take down his coalition with the help of other government agencies. As noted by Mediaite, these claims were echoed by right-wing media networks like One American News Network and Fox News.
The CIA, the NSA, and the FBI in 2017 concluded with “high confidence” that Russia was working to undermine the American democratic process and harm former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to damage her “electability and potential presidency.” Although Mueller’s probe found evidence of “sweeping and systematic” Russian interference in the 2016 election, it did not find sufficient evidence of conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin.
As reported by The Washington Examiner, Durham and Barr disagreed with the conclusion of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the Bureau’s probe. Although Horowitz found numerous violations of the FISA process, he said the Russia investigation had “sufficient factual predication,” to which the pair disagreed.
Still, Horowtiz’s probe into the Russia inquiry revealed some misconduct. Former FBI agent Kevin Clinesmith ultimately pleaded guilty to forging an email in the FISA process used to conduct surveillance on Trump’s 2016 campaign. In response to the news, Trump suggested that more charges are on the way due to the alleged coordinated campaign against his then-potential presidency.